Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Dandelion.

The Orbit of The Solar System in an unassuming,
occasionally bothersome,
--- weed ---

Dandelions are the bane of suburbia, and for that I already like them. Millions of dollars a year are bent on their destruction, and ultimately these efforts will fail spectacularly. Unfortunately for these grass-obsessed suburbanites, Dandelion's deep taproot makes it beneficial, breaking up hard soil and bringing up nutrients to less hardy, shallower-rooted, foliate brethren... like grass.

Dandelion leaf packs more nutrition per cup than spinach, being a significant source of Vitamins A, C, K, Calcium and Iron. It also contains Biotin/B7, which proves itself valuable in regrowing hair and (some say) aiding in weight-loss. My mother used shampoo infused with biotin and regrew her hair in a matter of about a month after Chemotherapy. It is also useful for liver detoxification, and as a diuretic.
Dandelion leaf and root can be consumed in teas, leaving it's nutrition more or less intact, a caffine-free "coffee" can be made from the roots, for either medicinal or ritual purposes.

They like to grow just about anywhere, but I've found them to prefer shadowy places where they will often overrun other plants (saturn), iron-rich soil (mars), and damp corners (moon) which bring a far different picture to the Lion's Tooth than one might think. It's radiant flowers (sun), white, globe-like seed heads (moon) and lush foliage (venus) round out a picture of a very complete little herb. As a bit of an aside, I have never found so many grub-worms as in the plot of dandelions I harvest from, and some of the roots wound right through a fire-ant hill (ouch).

Dandelions are said to be sacred to Hecate. This association, oft-quoted in folklore, is hard to track down to it's sources (Hekate Liminal Rites certainly doesn't discuss it) but it seems universal, and I certainly cannot disagree with it. It bleeds a cloudy sap - possibly referred to in The Root-cutters by Sophocles: "Medea recieves the juice whitely clouded, oozing from the cutting". Dandelion is liminal to it's core, sending as much plant below as above.

In magic they assist with communion with the underworld. Like the taproot of the Dandelion, the witch using it may reach into the deep places and bring up something of value, otherwise lost. Here, too, is a tie-in to psychic "sight" and insight and in calling and summoning spirits.

Some modern Traditional Witches have employed Dandelion root as an alraune/alrune. The root does have a tendency to grow in the manner of a human figure, and is far less troublesome to obtain than the Mandrake ordinarily is (of course, a quick stop at Alchemy-Works can nab you a mandrake/seeds). The investment in the Dandelion is less about finances or rarity, and more about willingness to dig deep enough to get the whole thing. Even small dandies can reach down very, very far.

In incense the leaves are generically leafy, providing a papery "lady's mantle" quality of scent. The roots are deeper, sweeter aroma. I like to add one or both to blends designed to contact and summon spirits. A particularly strong tisane/tea of the plant makes an excellent wash for scrying mirrors, or (filling a bowl) a nice substitute for one. Particularly thick roots can be carved into some rather lovely beads, strung into prayer strands, or hung around the necks of votive statuary.

No part of this article may be reproduced without permission. If I find this chopped up and plastered all over neo-wiccan sites I will issue takedowns.


  1. Excellent information, thank you! I have a Dandelion within my sacred space in the Astral. I've been attempting to discover all the associations of it and uses for it, and you've uncovered more than all the articles I've found during my research. Since I'll be moving to an apartment complex very soon, it will be difficult to cultivate them. Do you know if the leaves, flowers, and roots are available for purchase on line? There are many things I'd love to use all parts of this herb for.

  2. Rose, I will probably sell dried bits of the plant via my web store at some point. I intend to cultivate them in a raised bed whenever I get settled into the as-yet-unfinished new house.

  3. Outstanding! I look forward to being able to have a reliable source for this wonderful herb! Thank you for the info, Scylla.

  4. Excellent! Just found your blog through Sarah Lawless. So glad to have found you.

    Lily, aka Witch Mom

  5. Hi its Sunny again - I just pulled a dandelion the other day that sort of looks like a squid. The thing is freakin' huge. (as an aside I got a little rash because the dande was in the middle of a juniper berry bush).
    Today when I went out for my smoke I turned the corner around the little shack and a whole beautiful golden carpet of dandelions. All I wanted to do was spend the rest of the day picking....:)

  6. Nice blog comment
    Dandelion Root(Taraxacum officinale) used in medicines and the leaves are not medically used. The chief constituents

    of Dandelion root are Taraxacin, acrystalline, bitter substance, of which the yield varies in roots collected at
    different seasons, and Taraxacerin, an acrid resin, with Inulin (a sort of sugar which replaces starch in many of the

    Dandelion family,Compositae), gluten, gum and potash.Dandelion Root provides vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and

    vitamin B complex, as well as zinc, iron and potassium. Because of its iron content, it is widely used as a remedy for

    liver ailments, and has a diuretic effect that can help rid the liver of toxins.